Date of this Version
Under the 1994 amendments to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) are required to publish Stock Assessment Reports for all stocks of marine mammals within U.S. waters, to review new information every year for strategic stocks and every three years for non-strategic stocks, and to update the stock assessment reports when significant new information becomes available. This report presents revised stock assessments for 11 Pacific marine mammal stocks under NMFS jurisdiction, including six “strategic” and five “non-strategic” stocks (see summary table in Appendix 3.). A new stock assessment for humpback whales in American Samoa waters is included in the Pacific reports for the first time. New or revised abundance estimates are available for nine stocks, including Eastern North Pacific blue whales, American Samoa humpback whales, five U.S. west coast harbor porpoise stocks, the Hawaiian monk seal, and southern resident killer whales. The ‘Northern Oregon/Washington Coast Stock’ harbor porpoise stock assessment includes a name change (‘Oregon’ is appended to ‘Northern Oregon’) to reflect stock boundary changes supported by more recent genetic data. Information on the remaining Pacific region stocks will be reprinted without revision in the final 2009 reports and currently appears in the 2008 reports (Carretta et al. 2009). Stock Assessments for Alaskan marine mammals are published by the National Marine Mammal Laboratory (NMML) in a separate report.
Pacific region stock assessments include those studied by the Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC, La Jolla, California), the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC, Honolulu, Hawaii), the National Marine Mammal Laboratory (NMML, Seattle, Washington), and the Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC, Seattle, WA). Northwest Fisheries Science Center staff prepared the report on the Eastern North Pacific Southern Resident killer whale. Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center staff prepared the report on the Hawaiian monk seal. Southwest Fisheries Science Center staff prepared stock assessments for the remaining nine stocks.
Draft versions of the 2009 stock assessment reports were reviewed by the Pacific Scientific Review Group at the November 2008, Maui meeting. The authors also wish to thank those who provided unpublished data, especially Robin Baird and Joseph Mobley, who provided valuable information on Hawaiian cetaceans. We also thank those who provided input during the public comment period. Any omissions or errors are the sole responsibility of the authors.
This is a working document and individual stock assessment reports will be updated as new information on marine mammal stocks and fisheries becomes available. Background information and guidelines for preparing stock assessment reports are reviewed in Wade and Angliss (1997). The authors solicit any new information or comments which would improve future stock assessment reports.
These Stock Assessment Reports summarize information from a wide range of original data sources and an extensive bibliography of all sources is given in each report. We strongly urge users of this document to refer to and cite original literature sources rather than citing this report or previous Stock Assessment Reports. If the original sources are not accessible, the citation should follow the format: [Original source], as cited in [this Stock Assessment Report citation].